Today, we keep our lives on our computers. It's convenient. But it also comes with a risk. Someone on the other side fo the world, or just down the street, might hold it hostage. It's called ransomware.
Ransomware attacks are becoming more and more common every year. What should you do if malicious hackers seize your computer files and demand ransom? Start Googling “How do I get my hands on $700 worth of Bitcoin?” No! Simply follow our step-by-step guide:
1) Isolate the infected device(s) immediately. According to the FBI, you should disconnect the hostage computer from any external devices, your local WiFi network and the Internet to reduce the risk of the ransomware infecting other systems. You don’t want an epidemic on your hands!
2) Don’t pay the ransom. That only encourages the hijackers and helps fund more attacks, according to Europol and the No More Ransom initiative. Besides, you’ve put off understanding Bitcoin for this long, why learn about it now? Sadly, even if you do pay, you may not get your data back…
3) Restore affected files from your backup copies. Cyber security experts at Norton Utilities state this is the best way to get your files “back.” Wait, you don’t have backup copies? But, people have been telling you to back up your files since 1984! What were you thinking?
4) Search on line for a decryption tool. Most ransomware is given a “clever” name (CryptoWall, WannaCry, TeslaCrypt, Locky) but is poorly coded. “Master keys” end up online, which can be used to unlock ransomware. Use that clever name against the filenappers and find a decryptor, fast. Hack the hackers!
All is not lost if you’re hit with ransomware. Take the time now to get prepared: back-up all your files to an external drive (or open a BitCoin account. It’s your choice).